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Should alcohol be banned or be more regulated?

So many deaths, car crashes, marriages have been broken up due to the consumption of alcohol.

What good does alochol do for our society. Alcohol is far more dangerous than marijuana. When was the last time you ever heard of a person getting into a car accident due to marijuana or starting a fight due to marijuana.

Was the lifting of prohibition a mistake?

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    Gail .

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    Oct 14 2012: The failed war on drugs is a code for racism and disenfranchising blacks. Blacks, who are slightly less likely to use marijuana are 10 times more likely to be arrested for simple possession. The look of slavery has changed, but not the condition. Prison labor is as cheap as Chinese labor, and shipping costs are greatly reduced. Prisons are now private, for-profit venture and a lot of money is being spent lobbying for harsher laws.

    Here's a good article that talks about how profitable drug laws are for political cronies.

    http://www.dylanratigan.com/2012/01/16/occupy-the-dream-the-mathematics-of-racism/
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    Oct 17 2012: It is not about prohibition it is about enforcement....and we all see how well the "War on Drugs" is going.
    We can't keep drugs out of our jails, let alone off the streets.
  • Oct 15 2012: Here is a study of the effects of Marijuana on driving.

    http://druglibrary.org/schaffer/misc/driving/driving.htm

    From this study, the results are:
    "
    * Current users of marijuana prefer THC doses of about 300 ug/kg to achieve their desired "high".

    * It is possible to safely study the effects of marijuana on driving on highways or city streets in the presence of other traffic.

    * Marijuana smoking impairs fundamental road tracking ability with the degree if impairment increasing as a function of the consumed THC dose.

    * Marijuana smoking which delivers THC up to a 300 ug/kg dose slightly impairs the ability to maintain a constant headway while following another car.

    * A low THC dose (100 ug/kg) does not impair driving ability in urban traffic to the same extent as a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.04g%.

    * Drivers under the influence of marijuana tend to over-estimate the adverse effects of the drug on their driving quality and compensate when they can; e.g. by increasing effort to accomplish the task, increasing headway or slowing down, or a combination of these.

    * Drivers under the influence of alcohol tend to under-estimate the adverse effects of the drug on their driving quality and do not invest compensatory effort.

    * The maximum road tracking impairment after the highest THC dose (300 ug/kg) was within a range of effects produced by many commonly used medicinal drugs and less than that associated with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of 0.08g% in previous studies employing the same test.' ~ The study.

    "The conclusion is that Alcohol affects drivers worse than Pot smoking, under the same driving circumstances. We can draw the conclusion that pot smokers are safer drivers than alcohol drinkers." ~ Rex Edward.
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    Gail .

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    Oct 14 2012: Putting pot into the black market is the mistake. Alcoholism went UP during prohibition, and went down after it. Alcoholism makes you violent. Pot makes you sleepy.

    This being said, I don't think that government should be establishing black markets for anything. They are dangerous.
    • Oct 14 2012: I do agree that banning alcohol is not the way to go. We should focus on education and prevention as well as implement tough laws or implement a technology to discourage drunk driving.

      However allowing hard drugs to be accessible openly will lead to huge problems for individuals and societies. Hard drugs can become highly addictive and damaging to the individual in a very short period of time. The society will be affected as crime and medical expensive will substantially raise.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_and_soft_drugs
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        Gail .

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        Oct 15 2012: If you look at Portugal, you will see how drug use, crime, and sexually transmitted diseases DECREASED when drug possession (all drugs) were decriminalized. It's still unlawful to traffic, but people may possess a 10-day supply. Pot is overlooked, though it is included in the law. Hard drug users who are arrested (public intoxication) face a panel that contains a judge and a social worker and one more. This panel has the right to force treatment, require education and/or fines, or let the user go. It's not a criminal offense, so there is no criminal record.

        Holland also has amazing results, and they found that by legalizing pot possession in small amounts (for adults), hard drug use plummeted, hard drug users were forced into treatment, The streets are finally empty of addicts, which decreases crime, and STDs dramatically decreased, resulting in lower health-care costs for tax payers.

        These two countries are finding the same thing that America found when it experimented with abolition.

        Close down the black market, violence goes way down, drug use decreases because there is an acceptable alternative.

        The black market is very profitable - not just for the black marketeers, but for those companies and government agencies that thrive because of it. It's also very dangerous.
        • Oct 15 2012: It does not look like the evidence is clear on the consequences of legalizing certain drugs:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drug_policy_of_the_Netherlands

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portugal_2001_decriminalization_of_drug_use

          e.g. Reported lifetime use of "all illicit drugs" increased from 7.8% to 12%, lifetime use of cannabis increased from 7.6% to 11.7%, cocaine use more than doubled, from 0.9% to 1.9%, ecstasy nearly doubled from 0.7% to 1.3%, and heroin increased from 0.7% to 1.1%[14] It has been proposed that this effect may have been related to the candor of interviewees, who may have been inclined to answer more truthfully due to a reduction in the stigma associated with drug use.[15] However, during the same period, the use of heroin and cannabis also increased in Spain and Italy, where drugs for personal use was decriminalised many years earlier than in Portugal [15][16] while the use of Cannabis and heroin decreased in the rest of Western Europe.[
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    Oct 14 2012: i would appreciate if you stopped calling me immoral because i enjoy alcohol. i would also appreciate if you did not want to punish me for it.
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      Oct 14 2012: You may drink responsibly, but there are a lot of morons who don't and end up running somebody over because of it.
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        Oct 14 2012: so i get a license or what?
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          Oct 14 2012: A stamp on one's left forearm would do. Whoever got this stamp is a responsible drinker.
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          Oct 14 2012: The point is not whether you get a license or not, it's that not everyone who likes a drink is like you. Like I said, a lot of them are alcoholic morons.
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          Oct 15 2012: So if I use your reasoning Kevin, we should abolish food too. That would solve the problem of the "morons" who over-eat it and cause the extra costs of medical care for heart disease and other things caused by being overweight.

          Although that would also cause the rest of us "non-morons" to starve to death. So let's not do that.
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        Oct 15 2012: okay, kevin, so what? i should not drink alcohol because other people abuse it? does that sound cool to you?
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    Oct 14 2012: Illegal. There might be black market for alcohol in that case, but at least it won't be so readily available. Alcohol is perhaps the most dangerous drug. Besides bath slats.
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    Oct 19 2012: Hi Jonathan,

    I don't think lifting the prohibition was a mistake. Alcohol is not the only problem, but it is always easier to blame one cause as opposed to try to understand the multiple factors that contribute to a certain outcome.

    What good does alcohol do for society? Well, I guess the main benefit to our society is alcohol's ability to inhibit our natural tendencies to both isolate ourselves and isolate others. Our brains lower our barriers and we become slightly more tolerant of other people. That's just a wild guess. Not to say that there are no bad sides to alcohol, but it does have some social function for some people

    What good does a vehicle that can run faster than 75 mph do for society? If that is the top speed limit, why not simply tell car manufacturers that it is illegal to sell cars that can run faster than that?

    And why not design a car that can detect whether you are not in control (by measuring alcohol in your breath or by checking your reflexes while maneuvering the car) Why not design a car that actually slows down automatically when you are driving too close to the next vehicle? Or maybe design a car that can detect when you are texting and driving and helps you to slow down and stop on the side of the road?

    I think the solution is not just to cut alcohol consumption. If car accidents is the main concern, why not do it from this other perspective?

    cheers
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    Oct 19 2012: We don't need a change of law. We need a change of culture. Alcohol isn't too available, it's too socially normative. As a 23-year-old, I often feel like my entire social life revolves around drinking, simply because my friends and I are too unimaginative to think of other things to do.

    Obviously a cultural shift is even more complex than a legal one, but I think the culture is the real problem here. If people felt more comfortable being the only sober person at a party, they'd be more likely to step up as designated driver. Stepping into the alcohol aisle at a supermarket is dizzying -- it's incredible how much money and thought goes into creating 17,000 cool varieties, money and thought that should probably be going into other social activities for young people. I'm not saying that the same social pressure doesn't exist later in life, but I think it's particularly strong for those in their teens and early 20s.

    We don't need to regulate alcohol more. We just need to balance it out.
  • Oct 18 2012: I was part of a discussion a few weeks ago regarding this very issue, the dangers of alchol, and the rate of abuse in the US.

    My question is can we learn from your European counterparts, much of European nation has low drinking age and at that they are relaxed not severly enforced like in the US. Does that right of passage turning 21 and all of a sudden they are now allowed to legally consume beverages. Think about how when you first got your lisence did you drive everywhere you can could not wait to get behind that wheel and go for a ride ?, now think what if driving as addictive and all that driving that first years, has now make to "need" that every day just to function and get through life ???

    I know not exactly best example but just a concept.
  • Oct 17 2012: Is their an effort right now to appeal the law of Marijuana being a federal crime/offense?

    Or our the new laws just making it legal by state level for medical use?

    If the prohibition of alcohol was a good choice then why not end the prohibition of Marijuana?
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      Oct 18 2012: Thge initiative in Washington State is, I believe, expected to pass and is about general use rather than medical.

      But national laws take precedence.
  • Oct 17 2012: @Edward Long have you ever had surgery? If you have chances are that you have been prescribed painkillers or been put on morphine while in the hospital. Heroin turns into morphine when it hits the brain. Can you bolster any evidence that putting that substance in your body is worse for you than alcohol? If you can please enlighten me.

    Obviously heroin is far more dangerous when abused, its the most addictive drug on the planet not to mention the health issues that come as a result of being an intravenous drug user. You said alcohol is only dangerous when abused, so is heroin....

    My answer to your question about more restrictions on alcohol is no. That would do nothing, but cause a spike in crime. What needs to be done is a campaign to show young people the effects of alcoholism, as well as pointing out that the fairytales the media spins about the good times and drunken debauchery that occurs on MTV is lala land that has almost no connection to the potential realties of bing drinking.
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    Oct 17 2012: Why was prohibition lifted? Because people drank alcohol anyway, and it created a huge black market, controlled by gangsters instead of the government, with no tax revenues. The same is happening with drugs today. If abortions are banned, the same will happen with abortions.

    Drugs are legal in Netherlands, and I have not heard of Netherlands going to hell any time soon.

    People should take more responsibility for their decisions. When government takes control of our choices, of course, we have someone to blame for our misery, but it also means the loss of freedom. When shall people stop forcing beliefs and opinions on each other? It does not work. People will find their way into misery anyway.
  • Oct 15 2012: Alcohol is metabolized at the rate of .015 of blood alcohol concentration (BAC) every hour. 1 Thus a person with a very high BAC of .15 will have no measurable alcohol in the bloodstream after ten hours (.15 divided by .015 = 10). Here are some other examples:
    BAC Level Metabolism Time in Hours
    .10 6.66
    .08 5.33
    .05 3.33
    .02 1.33

    In the state of Georgia, USA, the legal limit of BAC for a driver is .08. This means anyone driving on the roads in Georgia with an alcohol level of .08 or higher can be charged with drunk driving. Drivers under 21 can be charged with a BAC as little as .02 or effectively one drink of alcohol. For commercial drivers, charges can be brought on with a BAC of .04. If a suspect is found to have a BAC of .15 or higher, they may encounter enhanced penalties.
  • Oct 15 2012: Alcohol, like all drugs, effects people differently according to the their metabolism. I don't drink Alcohol except wine on very few occasions, never to the point of intoxication. Drinking alcohol at home to the point of intoxication can have undesirable results on your family life. It can impair your ability to handle emergency situations, such as your child falls and breaks a bone or worse. It has been proven to effect your driving habits and ability.

    Marijuana (Pot), also causes similar effects on the human body. It definitely effects the way you drive and handle emergency situations. Imagine your surgeon, operating on you while high on Pot? Imagine a police officer holding a gun pointed at you while high on pot.

    While both drugs inhibit your abilities, Pot is inferior in it's ability to constantly affect the body to the degree that alochol does. I have seen people high on Pot and others high on Alcohol, at the same time, react differently to the same situation. For instance: In combat when mortars start coming in, Pot smokers make it to the bunker faster than the Alcohol drinkers. Afterwards, the Pot smokers have to get high all over again, while the Alcohol drinkers are still drunk and, most of them just hit the ground instead of finding the bunker.

    This action did not occur with every Pot smoker or Alcohol drinker but it did occur often enough to draw a distinction between the two states of incapacitation. On the down side, Pot increases your sense of fear, making it possible you will open up on anything that moves before establishing a real target.

    The only real state of mind that allows us to act normally, is the uninhibited state. It has been proven that any amount of alcohol will effect the way you drive and state laws usually allow people to exceed the minimum amount that causes less effect. Anyone who drinks should allow themselves time for their body to metabolize the alcohol before attempting to drive.
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    Oct 15 2012: Considering the increased cases of drunken driving , ideally it should be banned ... but banning it all of a sudden is gonna cause an obvious outcry from public....

    So a safer way is to regulate the consumption of alcohol .However we have a challenge here . As different people get sober at different quantity of alcohol. So one will need to study different cases and come up with an amount of alcohol which is safe for consumption.
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    Oct 15 2012: @ Brian Klink RE: "edward, alcohol is chemically addictive. . ."
    You are preaching a fallacious sermon to the choir. None of the things you say are true of alcohol. They are all true of people who chronically abuse alcohol. Much like the gun debate, alcohol does not kill people, people who abuse alcohol kill people. Do you have statistical support for the assertion that alcohol is "far more dangerous than marijuana."?
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    Oct 15 2012: We should end the prohibition of marijuana... but prohibiton of alcohol will help no one. Prohibition of popular substances leads to gangs, violence, and mass incarceration, usually of minorities.
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      Oct 15 2012: RE: "USA Today on Bristol Univ. . . "
      Thank you for the links David. My thoughts after reading, in the order you presented them:
      1) Suggests alcohol is the 5th worst drug and marijuana is 11th. Relevant but not undisputed.
      2) Addresses potential medical applications of marijuana. Not relevant to Mr. Marschall's assertion.
      3) Strongly pro-marijuana doctor touts medical potential for marijuana. Not immediately relevant.
      4 thru 6) Re: tobacco. Not immediately relevant.
      7) Mostly "suggested" indications. Direct conflict with #3. Tentative and inconclusive.
      8) Both alcohol and marijuana impair driving ability and are of great concern.
      Thanks again for your response to my request for supporting data!
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    Oct 14 2012: every thing depends upon its uses how we use any thing.if we use alcohol only in parties level may be it can be use as a drink .but if we use it at public places,in schools ,colleges then it should be banned.
    secondly religion ISLAM does not allow to use it in any condition as it is harmful for health. it damages our lungs .
  • Oct 14 2012: Drinking alcohol responsibly during a meal with friends, or at a restaurant is fine.

    The problem is with people that consume too much, like with college students, and with underage drinking.
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    Oct 14 2012: many people they know that it is bad for their health to drink while they can not control themself

    i think it is a long time that we have raised the habit to dring when meeting or eating .as for me .it can make m feel good when drinking .and i think if there is not wine when eating .i feel there is something wrong .i can not eat well .

    if you ask me should or not ,my reply is yes in the sense of right or wrong .while i just can't stop drinking it .i think it is part of my feeling .on this pot i dont want it be down
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    Oct 14 2012: Please substantiate with facts and statistics your assertion that alcohol is far more dangerous than marijuana.
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      Oct 14 2012: Do you have any idea how many people die from drunk driving every year in the U.S. alone?
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        Oct 15 2012: Yes, those stats are readily available. I asked you for stats to support your assertion that alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana. Do you have that information or am I expected to take your word for it? Also, is the number of traffic fatalities going to be the litmus test for your assertion? Are there not other factors to be considered?
        • Oct 15 2012: edward, alcohol is chemically addictive, commonly induces rage, causes severe brain deterioration in long time users, causes seizures hallucination and potential death upon withdrawal, and obviously kills people in traffic accidents quite often.

          http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/02/11/alcohol-related-deaths-_n_821900.html
          http://www.drugwarfacts.org/cms/Marijuana#Effects
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          Oct 15 2012: Everything you say is true, Brian...for ABUSERS of alcohol.

          There are also studies that indicate that limited use of alcohol is actually healthy in the prevention of heart disease and other areas of human health.

          So, it boils down to which studies you want to refer to, and whether the use of the alcohol is abused or not.

          The same would apply to marijuana. Some medical experts support its use for certain medical conditions. But obviously, if someone smoked a joint and got behind the wheel of a car, it could be safely argued they might be "dangerous", too.
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        Oct 15 2012: Kevin, what Edward is trying to get you to do is "broaden your horizens" and not use "tunnel vision" arguements.

        The fallacy of many non-critical thinking stances is that they use only ONE example to try to justify the claim being made. That is like a statistician using only the "data numbers" they want to use, and ignoring all the rest of them.

        Alcohol use, or more correctly ABUSE, is a problem for society. But it can be a problem in many more areas than just driving and traffic deaths. And the arguement can ALSO be made that when alcohol is NOT abused, it is not a problem to society.

        Edward has a valid point. If you are going to claim marijuana use is not as "traffic deadly" when driving cars, show us the facts. No one should be expected just to take your word about it.
        • Oct 15 2012: Rick this is in reply to the comment you left me. Theres really not much evidence either way that marijuana impairs driving. Heres the difference, go and abuse alcohol and you can die, there are no reported overdoses that can be traced directly to the chemical agents in marijuana. Like I said if you have ever seen someone hallucinating and shaking from an alcohol withdrawal you just wouldn't even argue that marijuana is equatable in danger or harm. Also yes this comes from abuse of alcohol, so is heroin worse than marijuana? According to what your saying it isn't.
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        Oct 15 2012: @Brian

        (Quote): "Also yes this comes from abuse of alcohol, so is heroin worse than marijuana? According to what your saying it isn't."

        Brian, that is a totally illogical conclusion and illustrates several logic fallacies, one of which is False Analogy. I never implied heroin and marijuana were similar.



        The most important fallacy in your arguement is your second sentence in your reply..."Theres really not much evidence either way that marijuana impairs driving." There is either evidence or there isn't evidence...how "much" is irrelevant. If there is ANY evidence produced by reasonable study that marijuana use impairs motor skill function or cognitive thinking ability/perception at the time, then it can be said it would also impair the ability of the person to operate the motor vehicle "safely". The number of tradfic deaths caused by either substance...alcohol or marijuana...is not the mitigating factor.

        Society has accepted a certain LEGAL level of alcohol consumption as not being abusive, such as the blood alcohol content levels when driving a car. Over the legal limit, you are abusing it at the time under the circumstances of driving a car. That is a totally different kind of abuse than the abuse that leads to the extreme medical conditions you describe.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_analogy

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fallacies
        • Oct 15 2012: Rick, you stated alcohol is only dangerous when abused, the same is true for heroin, does that make heroin and alcohol equal in their danger? Im just simply following your logic. No logical fallacy here...

          Yes society has accepted that a certain level of alcohol is not abusive... Whats the point you are trying to make? The evidence in regards to marijuana causing impairment to drivers is very thin and really cant be determined to be true or false(there is legitimate evidence both ways). My point was very simple Rick, abuse marijuana and you do not die or hallucinate upon withdrawal, you may have some very slight irritation upon withdrawal of marijuana, nothing anywhere in the same stratosphere as alcohol. To encapsulate my argument is that marijuana is at least equally or less dangerous than alcohol.
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      Oct 15 2012: Well, in that case, the next time I want to consume a drug, I'll have a scotch on the rocks. You can take a shot of heroin.

      Why did you introduce the subject of heroin into the topic in the first place? The topic author introduced the comparison of alcohol and marijuana in the topic question. Where in the heck did you reason that heroin is in the same category? Most medical experts would never consider comparing heroin and alcohol as "equals".

      Despite your claims, I didn't either.
      • Oct 15 2012: no thanks rick just showing you how poor of an argument it is to say that alcohol is not dangerous its just dangerous when you abuse it..well so is heroin or other drugs does that mean they equate to alcohol or marijuana it has no bearing on the truth of alcohol and its dangerousness.
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          Oct 16 2012: Mr. Klink, are you arguing that heroin is only dangerous if abused?
          By the way, the topic is asking if alcohol should be banned or more heavily controlled. You are getting pretty far from that topic when you focus on whether alcohol is dangerous or not. There are more than suffucient age prohibition laws and legal usage limit controls in place. The question being asked here is do we need even more?
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      Oct 16 2012: Poor argument? OK.

      I see you are a psychology major. Assuming you become a practitioner of the discipline, are you telling me....

      1. A patient comes to you for treatment.

      2. During your analysis of the patient, you discover the patient uses alcohol in an acceptable manner within the laws established for it's use. Under those laws or other competant medical authority's standards, the patient would not be considered an alcoholic or an abuser of alcohol.

      3. Would you insist to the patient that he/she WAS an alcoholic or an alcohol abuser?

      4. Would you insist to the patient that the patient was using a drug...alcohol (in a responsible manner)...that was just as damaging as the "recreational use" of heroin?

      I hope not.

      It just appears to me that you have very strong personal views about the consumption of ANY level of alcohol. That's OK. But they aren't supported by the medical disciplines who define what alcohol deppendancy, abuse, or alcoholism is. And the laws governing the use of alcohol don't support your views either. Alcohol use is considered "OK" by the medical community up to a certain point, where it then becomes a problem for the user. And laws reflect that same philosophy, in the sense you aren't illegal drinking and driving until you reach a certain threshhold of blood alcohol content.
      • Oct 17 2012: Aw man, Rick notice that I never ever stated that alcohol should be more regulated or even less consumed. You made the argument to me that alcohol is only dangerous when it is abused, I replied well so is Heroin. The point I was making is that wether it is or it isn't more dangerous when the substance isn't abused has no bearing on its level of danger. I used the analogy to heroin because heroin is obviously very dangerous, more so than marijuana and alcohol because of its addictive properties. I was just driving the point home that alcohol is more dangerous than marijuana and this is so because of likelihood of abuse as well as the end result of abuse.

        Just to make it clear I think America should end the war on drugs with exception of a few.

        By the way its funny you ask as I am in training to be an alcohol and drug counselor. So no theres no way I would ever tell anybody who uses alcohol moderately to stop drinking. Also no I would never suggest that recreational heroin use(if there is such a thing, from what I understand this isn't possible)poses the same level of danger as an occasional drink.

        I have no strong personal view that any consumption of alcohol is bad thats ridiculous. What I do believe is that marijuana is not as dangerous as alcohol.
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    Oct 13 2012: Organized crime was at its height during Prohibition. Every time you make a scarce commodity illegal, gangs and violent crime proliferate.

    "When was the last time you ever heard of a person getting into a car accident due to marijuana..." Really, Jonathan? I'm going to believe you just didn't think that through well, because I can't believe you're that misinformed. Shame on you for such a foolish statement.
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    Oct 13 2012: That would be fine as long as you do not ban any of my brands, and in case I come down with some malady the law should read that I can switch brands in order to cure my malady.
  • Oct 13 2012: The world would be a lot better off if alcohol and marijuana switched places. But they didn't and now the genie is out of the bottle and no amount of prohibition will prevent its abuse in any society that has a long history of alcohol consumption.